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Music Business

Becoming A Songwriter

By BethAnn Long

Morning Light Music
singer/songwriter/M.O.M.(mother of many!)
www.bethannlong.com

Each of us has a story to tell-a song to sing,something to be shared with others.Perhaps your talent is a hidden treasure to be discovered,uncovered,and unleashed!

Since I was 12 I have been singing and performing publicly.I have always had a passion for music,singing,and performing.I have had opportunities to do this as a hobby,and a profession.As a young adult,I can look back now and sadly say I did not have a good sense of direction,nor much self-discipline.In many ways my deep desire to be successful in music was more of a frustration and cause for depression than anything.I had to come to grips with reality,chances,life.

I was married at 19 and worked in retail.Once my first baby came along-I was 25,I quit working retail-accept occasional seasonal help.I was diagnosed with cancer at age 26.Life is full of twists and turns,and as a stay at home mom,this added to my depression.I was in and out of medical treatment on and off for 4 years.During all of this time,since age 12,I continued to sing for weddings,and at my local church in our music program.I also recorded several radio and television commercials.My first album,"WELCOME A CHILD" benefited the Ronald McDONALD house of the Inland Northwest.At the time I was a volunteer music lady in pediatric oncology for nearly 5 years.

After the doc gave me the go ahead,I became pregnant-again.This time it was TWINS!My pregnancy was very demanding-and I gave birth to two very large babies!

I had another round of treatment when they were 2.Those were trying times.I continued to sing for various occasions,churches,ect.I also sold Discovery toys for four years,and used my musical talent to write them a theme song for their national convention.As time went on,I realized how very much I wanted a girl-so we tried again.

In 1993,our 4th child Grace Elizabeth was stillborn at 21weeks.I was devastated.I went into a deep depression.3 weeks prior one of my best friends had committed suicide.It was a long,dark season of grief.Once I started to compose again,I recorded an album entitled "INTO THE MORNING LIGHT"(www.bethannlong.com) expressing my struggles with illness and loss.This is an album of hope and healing,as God brought me into the morning light.

After I began doing concerts and was on a roll...I got pregnant with TWINS again!!!This was a huge shock and challenge.I felt I was finally doing music,my kids were all in school,and WHAM!DOUBLE WHAMMEY-AGAIN?!

As you can imagine,trying to raise 5 kids on one income is a huge challenge.I am building a ministry through my website,and speaking and performing for women's events.Because of some things that have been incredibly difficult,I feel I have something to share,as we can all relate to trials.I think music is the universal language,and I encourage any and all "artists" to sing in the rain,paint in the storm and dance in the alley.

Life is not easy,but when we connect with eachother as compassionate human beings and share the comfort and wisdom we have gained,we all benefit.My web-page and CD have been my main tool as of late,and I also have gotten speaking/singing engagements through the mothers of twins clubs,churches,MOPS international(mother's of preschoolers).I also constantly brainstorm about who might benefit from my music and story.I have been submitting my story to magazines,and it was published in the Nov./Dec issue of TWINS magazine.Think about what is unique about your life experience,and capitalize on that!

I do believe that as an artist,we face bigger obstacles in how to make our right brain gifts profitable.It is a true saying,starving artist.However,I do think if you believe in your gift,you should plug along through thick and thin,sickness and health,kids and jobs,and CREATE!

I hope I have been an encouragement to my fellow musicians,to find your nitch-whether it be with pre-school music,or funeral home music-GO FOR IT!

My best suggestions include:

  • get a small focus group together to help you asess your abilities,and creative possibilities.meet bi-weekly to develope a plan.E.G. they can help you plan a home show of your products,artwork,or organize a concert.
  • BUILD A WEB-PAGE(you can start with a free one!)once you are happy with your page,register it with as many search engines and links as possible
  • contact groups,organizations,churches, schools,internet communities, to see where you may be able to share your talents.you can use flyers,business cards, and route them to your web-page
  • find a mentor who is doing what you want to be doing
  • join a group in your city of artists,musicians,ect.

CREATE!

Please visit my website at www.bethannlong.com and feel free to contact
me at bethannlong@hotmail.com

God Bless,
BethAnn Long
Morning Light Music

BethAnn Long lives in Spokane,WA. with her husband Bill who is in TV advertising.They have 5 children:Kevin,17,Curran and Riley,12-and Colin and Meghan 4.They attend Life Center foursquare church.BethAnn is a musician,writer,and most of all wife and mother!

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